CMHA residents want answers from leaders about maintenance issues gone unfixed

CLEVELAND - For the past year, News 5 has heard from residents, complaining of maintenance issues from bed bugs and roaches, to homes being shot through with bullet holes, all the while a slow or non-existent response from Cuyahoga County's public housing authorities, housing supported by your tax dollars.

The frustration continues to build with multiple residents reaching out, saying they feel neglected and overlooked with they make their request know.

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Latonya Rucker is yet another resident, who’s been fighting for something to be done.

“I was very furious, yes I was, I was frustrated, I was upset,” Rucker said.

Back in June, the stove caught fire in her apartment while no one was home.

“My neighbor called me at 9:00 telling me that my house was smoking, and the fire department came in,” she recalled. That’s when she called CMHA authorities.

“CMHA never came, the manager never came that day see what was going on, no emergency maintenance,” Rucker said.

The fumes were too unbearable for her and her children that the Red Cross put them up in a hotel for a week.

“That day was crazy,” she said.

Twelve days later, her place was inspected, but now it’s November and the burned cabinets and blinds have still not been replaced.

“They didn’t even clean the black stuff off the wall, they just painted over it,” Rucker said.

We were finally able to question CMHA’s lawyer Jeffrey Wade about why there appears to be so many maintenance issues, gone unfixed.

“I’m not sure that there would be one specific issue or area,” he said.

Calling into question, the possibility of there being holes in their finances, preventing work to be done.

“I can tell you that the services, the supplies, the materials that the authority needs to operate, that we receive those,” he said.

Dodging questions about neglect, he wanted to give this promise to residents in all their properties.

“Are there perhaps instances where concerns were expressed and employees or staff didn’t respond perhaps in the way that they should’ve? If that were true, we will identify those and we will hold them accountable,” Wade said.

For the past year, we’ve been trying to acquire public records from CMHA, to see what the holdup really is.

In that conversation, Wade confirmed they will finally cooperate in providing proper records and details from their database, where they claim all maintenance issues are kept.

Rucker and her family are no longer living in her apartment.

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